When this series of discussion guides were first published I included not only notes for Participants each week but also a Leader’s Guide so that others could use the course in their churches with minimal preparation. So each week after we have discussed the topic I will also post the Leader’s Guide in case anybody else wants to follow these studies.
IN NO WAY do I think these notes for Leaders contain the “right answers” to discussion questions. Their purpose is to assist the Leader in facilitating conversation – no more.
Here is the Leader’s Guid for the first week.
1. UNIT TITLE: Integrity: white lies and speed limits
AIM: To consider the meaning of integrity and honesty in practice.
OBJECTIVES: By the end of this unit participants will have
discussed a number of situations;
studied and applied a number of Bible passages.
Welcome and Introduction to course and unit 5 min
What would you do (page 1) – Think through 5 – 10 min
then discuss situations 20 – 30 min
Bible Passages (page 2) 10 – 15 min
Conclude, intro book list (p.2) & unit 2 (HAND OUT p.3 THIS week!) 5 min
Timings are only a rough guide. Page numbers in the Leaders’ Guide refer to Participants’ Notes.
CONTROVERSIAL AREAS AND PITFALLS:
The course will be most successful if group members feel able to share their ideas and experiences openly and honestly. Part of the purpose of this first session is to begin to build trust and openness. It is important to stress from the start that all discussions are CONFIDENTIAL within the group. Do not draw attention to page 2 until after discussion of page 1.
POSSIBLE ANSWERS TO SUGGESTED QUESTIONS:
1. What does “speaking the truth IN LOVE” (Eph 4:15) require here? What would Jesus have said?
2, 3, 5 How true is it to say that many Christians are more influenced by the 11th commandment, “Thou shalt not get caught!” than any other considerations? Remind participants that God is not so much concerned about what we SAY is right or wrong in theory, but what we actually DO.
4. Some Christians put “truth” above “love” in this situation. Are they right? Again, what might Jesus have said?
6 This is a tricky and complex situation, but life is like that sometimes! An honest answer to the wife may prevent a tactful approach to the husband, which might do much more good (and less damage) in the long run. What would you do?
Extra marks of course for anyone who suggests they would discuss this (or any other) issue with their minister or Christian friend before acting, or who suggests praying about things!
In some other churches the priest by receiving Confession has the role of defining for the people what is right or wrong, and how serious a sin is. We Baptists don’t necessarily have a forum for discussing the kinds of issues this course addresses. What place might there be in our church life for Confession and Absolution (see James 5:16)?
BIBLE PASSAGES: as on Participants’ Notes page 2.
WORK TO DO BETWEEN SESSIONS:
Prepare for Unit 2 using page 3 which you have handed out THIS week!